Everyone is a content creator these days. Our mobile devices and web tools have made it incredibly easy to produce quality images and videos. There is certainly no shortage of content across social networks. Marketers must take note, especially when content is related to your brand.

What’s more, making a proactive call for user-generated content with some guidance (e.g., specified hashtag or CTA) can have exponential effects for your brand. So how can you go about this in an organic way that extends beyond your immediate community? This week’s #SproutChat discussed just that. Here’s what our experts had to say.

Ask for Content to Deepen Your Customer Relationships

Simply said, individuals trust their friends more than brands. With that in mind, you should leverage user-generated content as a tool to reach new audiences. Not only does UGC make the people who create it feel closer to your brand, but it also shows that relationship to all their connections.

Celebrate UGC That Aligns With Your Brand

One pain point of UGC is that it might not be absolutely on brand since it’s not created by your team. While perfect content is not the point, you don’t want to use material that’s so far off from your brand identity. To get the best quality possible, highlight the kind of content you’d like to see. Still, keep in mind that how your community interprets your brand can be valuable information that shouldn’t be dismissed as wildly out of step. This is an opportunity to assess the perception of your brand from engaged community members.

Limit Parameters When Calling for UGC

Although it may be tempting to try to get UGC to look perfect, it’s tough to enact such strict guidelines. In fact, it could turn off your audience. Keep in mind that your community may be using a mobile phone to create content. Anything you can offer to align with this factor should be well received. Keep boundaries open, and let creativity flow.

Compile Content to Drive Interest From Others

One of the main goals of UGC should be to attract interest from the creators’ networks and other individuals within your community. UGC may need some polishing in order to make it intriguing. This is where the brand comes into play. Combining content that’s been made for the same purpose can be really powerful and even elicit FOMO from those not involved.

Join Us

Stop by next week, as we discuss content calendars. Also, check out our #SproutChat Facebook Community for weekly topics and discussion questions. See you Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT!